Glory smash five past Kingz - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Glory smash five past Kingz

By Tom Wald 05/01/2003 05:46:34 AM Comments (0)

Perth Glory kept the pressure on the national soccer league leading Olympic Sharks with a 5-0 thrashing of the Football Kingz at Perth Oval on Saturday night.

The Kingz struggled to come to grips with a five hour time difference between Auckland and Perth, with the Glory securing the match within the opening 22 minutes.

The New Zealanders unfortunately played the first night match of the season at Perth Oval starting at 7pm - midnight New Zealand time.

Despite arriving in Perth midweek, they looked dazed and confused as the home team rammed in two goals in the opening eleven minutes.

The Glory's drubbing will do little to dissuade the belief that this year's competition is a two-horse race between last season's grand finalist Perth and champion Olympic Sharks.

Meanwhile, the Kingz - which had only conceded 15 goals in 13 matches coming into tonight's game - will be feeling a little sheepish after being embarrassingly exploited at the back.

The loss meant the Kiwis were still a win outside the top six on 16 points while the second-placed Glory remained hot on the tail of league leader, the Sharks.

For a match between two of the best defensive sides in the NSL, the encounter got off to a cracking start.

The Kingz defence was found out immediately with the Glory scoring twice and only a limp Damian Mori shot stopped the home side being three up with the opening quarter hour.

Mori had a perfect opportunity in the opening moments to extend his lead at the top of the NSL goalscoring list when he was released with a mountain of space.

However, he scuffed his shot.

In the eighth minute Mori turned provider for Matthew Horsley, who knocked the ball forward before playing it past Matthew Utting and into the goal.

Three minutes later a Scott Miller corner was headed back across the goal by Jamie Harnwell, with fellow defender Shane Pryce bundling the ball into the net.

Then just when the game seemed to be settling down Horsley found Bobby Despotovski in space, who knocked the ball over the busy Utting to make it 3-0.

Kingz coach Ken Dugdale made some changes in the second half but for one of the few times this season the Glory didn't sit back on its lead.

Mori unlocked some fragile defence straight after the break but Utting deflected his left-footed drive just outside his left post.

Midfield ace Andre Gumprecht then found space on the right in the 54th minute and drilled his shot into the left hand corner.

However striker Nick Mrdja, brought on by Glory coach Mich d'Avray for Despotovski spurned several great opportunities before appearing to add a fifth.

But referee Matthew Breeze disallowed the goal because the ball apparently fired off Mrdja's arm.

The fifth goal eventually came with Gumprecht's swerving long range shot curling into the top right corner.

It was the second heavy loss by the Kingz to the Glory after the Perth outfit scored a 7-2 belting in New Zealand last season.

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